The Summer Olympics are quickly approaching, and London will soon serve as the world’s meeting place, bringing nations together to celebrate remarkable human achievement from around the globe. Despite the wonders of the Games, however, the mass accumulation of locals and tourists also brings about significant safety risks to those staying in the area.
We never like to shadow the excitement of an international trip with the dark cloud of health alerts and safety concerns, but the reality is that tourists are easy targets of crime. From theft and pickpocketing to violence and sexual assault, tourists are more vulnerable victims of these crimes than locals. London is known to be one of the safest big cities in the world, but with a heavily increased number of people flocking to the city, including many from other countries, there’s a greater chance for occurrences of crime. To keep yourself and your travel partners safe, here are 5 London Olympics Safety Tips:
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and wearing expensive jewelry. International travelers often opt for the ease of carrying cash, as opposed to using credit or debit cards overseas, but in terms of security, that’s rarely the better option. Don’t keep large amounts of money in your wallet, and if you have valuable jewelry that you’d be devastated to lose, leave it at home. Even if you wouldn’t be crushed if it were stolen, it may risk your physical wellbeing.
- Don’t take valuable electronics into crowded places or public transportation systems. IPods, tablets and laptops are frequent “musts” on the packing lists of international travelers, and while it’s usually okay to take them overseas, be smart about where you choose to take them in the city. If you plan to take advantage of London’s buses, trains and Tube (the city’s moniker for its railway system) during your visit, plan to leave your electronic devices at the hotel or at home. It’s likely to be standing room only, making it that much easier for pickpockets to lift items from unsuspecting tourists.
- Never get into minicabs alone and/or at night – especially if they’re unlicensed, and especially if you’re a woman. Negligence can be a big proponent of danger in these types of situations. Wherever your London travel plans may take you, be cautious in choosing the areas you visit and have a plan in place for how and when you will return to your hotel.
- Celebrate the Games, but closely monitor your drinking. Whether you’re with friends or new acquaintances, keep your head and use sound judgment when joining in celebratory, casual or after-dinner drinks. And, of course, never accept drinks from someone you don’t know. No matter your level of travel expertise and familiarity with the area you’re visiting or London’s restaurants and bars, even slight intoxication can easily increase your susceptibility to crime.
- Don’t rush to secure accommodations. With less than a week until the Opening Ceremonies, many well-known hotels are likely booked to capacity, and it’s likely that finding satisfactory accommodations won’t happen at first glance. In the midst of hasty, last-minute, trip planning, it’s important to make sure that you take time to decide on lodgings. Check out the surrounding area online, read reviews and research any notifications and/or policy updates the hotel, hostel or B&B has released in preparation for the Olympic Games.
Safe international travel is smart and enjoyable. Simple precautions like these can help maximize the pleasance and excitement of your time in the U.K., as well as your enjoyment of the Olympic Games. Not to mention, save you from a world of potential issues that could jeopardize both your health and safety. Watch http://bit.ly/TravelSafety for more international safety and security facts, tips and recommendations.
For more information on how to protect your health in London or any other international destination, visit http://bit.ly/LeisureTravelHealth.